Parental Responsibility

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Who has parental responsibility?

The list of responsibilities involved includes care and control of the child, discipline, protection and maintenance, secular education and religious upbringing, medical treatment, consent to marriage and burial or cremation in the event of the death of a child.

Mothers automatically have parental responsibility. A father of a child born after 1st December 2003 (who is named on the birth certificate and was present when the birth was being registered) shares parental responsibility with the mother. Otherwise a father does not acquire it, unless:

Parental responsibility is retained even if the parents separate and regardless of who the child lives with.
More than two people can share parental responsibility for the same child.

What rights don’t I have?

Parental responsibility doesn’t give you an automatic right to:

Currently the only way to legally end a marriage is to prove that it has broken down by one of these five reasons:


What is a parental responsibility agreement?

Many people are shocked to find that, if parents are unmarried, it is only the mother who has automatic rights with regard to their children.
The Adoption and Children Act 2002 provides for a step-parent (A step-parent is defined as a person who is married to or is a civil partner of a parent of a child) to acquire Parental Responsibility by entering into a “Parental Responsibility Agreement” with the parents who have Parental Responsibility for the child; or by applying to the Court for an order.
The agreement is to give them parental responsibility of the child, without the need to go to court for a parental responsibility order. Both parents must agree for it to be enforced.

GloverPriest has years of experience in helping parents reach Parental Responsibility Agreements or acquire Parental Responsibility Orders.

In some areas of family law, we offer an introductory meeting with a member of our legal team. This meeting is free and designed for you to get to know our firm, your solicitor and to discuss your case. By completing this initial meeting, you can make an informed choice about how you want to move forward to get the best results.

This initial meeting is up to 30 minutes long and free of charge. This meeting is not designed to offer advice. If specific advice is required and you’d like to continue past the 30 minutes, please let your solicitor know and you may be able to carry on into a more detailed consultation. This time will be chargeable, but your solicitor will tell you how much it will be.


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The Team

Pavneet Matharu

Director / Solicitor

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Louise Dewell

Chartered Legal Executive

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Salvia Akram


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Lee Trubshaw


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Aarifah Mahmood

Trainee Solicitor

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